F1 News 99-03-17

Wing test for F1 ready Charlie Whiting has told the teams they are to face a wing deflection test at the Brazilian GP. The wings will be subjected to a 100kg load, and if they deflect more than a certain amount they will be banned from...

Wing test for F1 ready

Charlie Whiting has told the teams they are to face a wing deflection test at the Brazilian GP. The wings will be subjected to a 100kg load, and if they deflect more than a certain amount they will be banned from the race. McLaren, Sauber and Ferrari had wings that leant back in Australia, though only Sauber has admitted it was intentional.

Briatore denies engine problems

Flavio Briatore, boss of Supertec, has said that his V10 engine - based on the Renault V10 - is not underpowered "Ralf Schumacher was third, only seven seconds behind Irvine, Fisichella who was fourth, would have been fighting for victory if it wasn't for an extra pit stop after his clash with Trulli". He went on to day that "In 1994 [Benetton] had a Ford V8 with 80bhp less than the others"

Stewart turns down offers

Jackie Stewart has said that his team has had offers from Toyota and Honda in the last year to take over the team. "We refused there offers. We're not for sale".

Ferrari will 'look different' in Brazil

Ferrari are making big changes to their 1999 challenger for the Brazilian GP. Irvine has said that there isn't just one problem area, whilst Rory Byrne said that the Ferrari would 'look different in Brazil. If we can achieve the extensive programme we've set out I'll be pleased and I'm sure we'll take a reasonable step.'

McLaren completes race distance

McLaren have succesfully completed a race distance in the new car during testing at Silverstone. Rumours have suggested that the failures are due to the car being very light and having vibration problems. Adrian Newey has denied this, saying the causes were "New- car problems, nothing more".

Moody's rates Nissan as Junk Bond

Moody's has downrated Nissan after the collapse of talks between it and DaimlerChrysler. The rating has been reduced from Ba1 to Baa3 with warnings it may be downgraded further. The reasoning was to do with the large levels of debt the company has. With the companies debt reduction in place, and the ability to raise money from bond issues great reduced, the chances of Nissan entering F1 have been drastically cut. Standard and Poor have so far not changed their rating, but are keeping it under review.

Rule changes in F1

The following changes have been made to the technical regulations by the World Council in Geneva.

Recoverable energy will be limited to that which "could not be used to increase performance"

With immediate effect, fuel must comply with EC directive 98.70 EC (sulphur 150 ppm). From January 1st 2000, fuel must comply with EC regulations which are due to come in in 2005 (50 ppm).

Electronic differentials may only use measured torque, not theoretical torque.

The rear energy absorbing structure must have an minimum cross section of 90cm squared from Jan 1 2000.

BAR apologises to FIA

BAR have apologised to the FIA saying that their lawyers acted without consulting them first. Craig Pollock said that they made a number of declarations which did not reflect his views. The team also restated that it has withdrawn its complaint it lodged with the EC.

Bernie Bond moves back into fast lane

WestLB has been appointed alongside Morgan Stanley as joint Lead Manager for the Bernie Bond issue. The bond issue is now expected to be next month, and is expected to raise capital of $1.4billion. This level was chosen as it means that Standard & Poor will give it a good rating, which will help the bond to sell. It is also expected to have a term of around 5 to 10 years instead of the original 22 years. The bond is now expected to go ahead, despite the EC investigation still going on. An insider, according to The Telegraph, has said the bond will be a prelude to a full float in two years time. For the float to be a big success, there must be massive progress on Digital Television, which is the building block of the bond.

Schumacher would back Irvine

Michael Schumacher, speaking at the Geneva motor show, has said that he wouldn't mind backing Irvine up for the championship if the team asked him to. For this to come into play, Irvine must have 30-40 points after four races.

BAR denies split

British American Racing have gone on the defensive for the first time, denying that the team is splitting apart. The stories surfaced over Adrian Reynard not attending the first GP. Adrian Reynard has since gone on record saying "I have faith in Craig, believe he's doing a terrific job and am supporting him all the way.". Some stories suggest that Pollock will be forced out of the team.

-- Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Jackie Stewart , Flavio Briatore , Adrian Newey
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Benetton , British American Racing